Skynet travels east

As I have said before satellites are cool. So it was a great opportunity to go to the rolling Wiltshire spacecraft opps -2countryside in the UK last week and explore the Airbus Defence and Space Skynet operations centre as they move one of their satellites 67,000km.

From the autumn this year the UK will have worldwide coverage from its military beyond line of sight (BLOS) satellite constellations for the first time.

Airbus Defence and Space is moving its Skynet 5A satellite to the Asia Pacific region which will complete the worldwide coverage.

As a result of the move the company is able to sell off the extra capacity of the satellite not used by the MoD in the region.

Skynet_5_close upWhile the satellites were in high usage during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and are still widely used in this area, there is now availability for the satellite to be repositioned.

There are also plenty of markets in the Asia Pacific region that require the capability even if they have their own sovereign capability the Skynet satellite can offer X band, UHF and SHF coverage.

For more on details about the move, check out my story here where I talk to chief space whizz at the Airbus operations centre.

After this we could be looking at Skynet 6, which is presumably what Airbus DS is hoping for.

Below: Launch of Ariane 5 with Skynet 5D & Mexsat 3 on VA211 from December 2012.

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